Westwood Electric donates $100,000 to campaign 

westwoodOkanagan College students in the Electrical Trades programs will soon plug into a cutting edge new learning space thanks to a generous donation of $100,000 from Westwood Electric.

Westwood’s donation to the Okanagan College Foundation’s “Bright Horizons: Building for Skills” Campaign will support the Trades Training Complex, currently under construction at the Kelowna Campus. The electrical controls lab in the new facility will feature state of the art equipment, technology, and workstations for students.

“We see this as a very special opportunity to be a part of the campaign behind the Trades Training Complex at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus,” said McCormick. “We are honoured be involved with what will be one of the largest, most comprehensive and environmentally sustainable trades training facilities in British Columbia.”

Follow this link to read the complete press release. Click here to view the live webcam of construction of the new trades building.

CS to offer new entry-level training program for LNG

Continuing Studies will be offering a new four-week program in natural gas training at the Vernon campus from Feb. 2-27, 2015.

Students will acquire nine industry certificates during the four weeks, including Occupational First Aid Level 1, OFA Transportation Endorsement, H2S Alive, and Petroleum Safety Training.

Natural gas industry specific training covers operating in natural gas, technology and communications, career and employment planning.  

Funding for Working in Natural Gas (WiNG), is provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada Job Grant program. Tuition and support is available for eligible participants. Eligible unemployed participants must meet certain criteria. Contact Heather Flood for more information.

2015 Employee Excellence Awards nominations open soon

empexNominations for the annual Employee Excellence Awards will open Jan. 5, 2015. The program recognizes the contributions made by employees and was developed in concert with the College’s employee groups and complements the existing Distinguished Service Award and the Employee Long Service Recognition program.

Take the time to recognize those you work with who have made a difference to you, to students and the institution.  

You can nominate employees in any one of nine categories:
•    Strong Start
•    Scholarly Activity
•    Service Excellence
•    Innovation
•    Leadership
•    Key Directions
•    Teaching Excellence
•    Career Achievement
•    President’s Award

Milestone achievements for employees who have completed a credential, been published or received an award from an external organization in the past year will also be accepted.

Nominations open on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015 and close on Monday, March 2 at midnight. The forms will be available online. The celebration event will take place on Wednesday, May 13.    

Winter CS brochure now available

The Winter 2015 Continuing Studies brochure is fresh off the press and will be distributed this week to homes and businesses throughout the Okanagan.
New for Winter 2015 is an alumni discount. Okanagan College and OUC graduates are now eligible for a 10 per cent discount on most Continuing Studies courses. If you’re a graduate, register in-person at your campus to obtain the discounted tuition.
Courses and programs worth checking out include:

·         Project Management Workshops (Kelowna, Vernon)
·         Leadership Skills Workshops (Kelowna, Penticton, Revelstoke, Vernon)
·         Lean Six Sigma Series (Kelowna, offered in conjunction with BCIT)
·         Group Crisis Intervention (Vernon, Penticton, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm)
·         LERN Online (120+ professional development courses available)

In addition to certificate programs, there are hundreds of general interest courses in business, computers, first aid, photography, oil & gas training, wine and food studies, and more. Visit to find courses and register.
Click here to view the digital version of the Winter 2015 CS brochure.


Join colleagues to celebrate Bob Eby’s career

The President's Office is hosting an open house on Thursday, Dec. 18 to celebrate Bob Eby's career and to wish him well in his retirement.

Bob has been the Vice President of Finance and Administration since 2007. His last day will be Dec. 18 and all employees are welcome to drop by the executive offices between 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. to say farewell to Bob.

College employees shuffle for the Salvation Army

santaA group of Okanagan College employees braved wintry conditions to participate in the annual Santa Shuffle fundraising event for the Salvation Army in Kelowna.

College employees included Drew Petrie, Mark Scorah, Markus Heinrichs, Kristine Richie and Michelle Sinclair.  

This year’s shuffle began at Prospera Place and was a part of the Downtown Kelowna light up, which included seasonal activities such as a visit with Santa at the Laurel Packinghouse and ended with the light up in Kerry Park.

Colleagues give generously in support of fundraiser

richieIn early November, Kristine Ritchie from Financial Services and her six-year-old son attended a fundraiser in Fort McMurray in support of her son’s hospital clinic, which is located at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton. 

Brendan suffers from the progressive, incurable and ultimately fatal disease, Pulmonary Hypertension and travels to Edmonton every three months to check his progression of the disease.

Kristine’s colleagues Mary Read (Finance), Heather Carson (Campus Rec), staff from the Kelowna Campus Bookstore and former colleague and OC Alumnus, Bobby Gidda, all contributed donations to the silent auction.

The fundraiser collected over $211,000 in one evening, which will aide in research and equipment purchasing for Brendan’s clinic. To find out more about Pulmonary Hypertension, watch this video.

Dec. 16, 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 19

Update on College tuition fees for Adult Basic Education 

Okanagan College is informing current and prospective Adult Basic Education students and domestic English as a Second Language students that it will not be charging tuition fees for ABE and domestic ESL courses in the Winter Semester.

The communication follows on the heels of an announcement by the Provincial Government earlier this month that allows B.C.'s public post-secondary institutions to charge tuition for ABE and domestic ESL courses beginning Jan. 1, 2015. The government has set a maximum tuition of $1,600 per semester for those program areas.

In the next months, Okanagan College's Board of Governors will consider the issue of tuition for these programs during its regular budget and tuition deliberations.

Decisions regarding tuition fees for these program areas will be communicated as they are made.

December tips for financial success 

The December edition of The Balance Sheet newsletter is now available from the College’s employee and family assistance program provider. Finances feature prominently in this month’s webinar “Personal Finances 101,” which will be presented on December 17 by Bill Cooke.

Sign up for the webinar here.  

Kelowna fitness facility closure

The Kelowna fitness facility will be closed beginning Friday, Dec. 19 at 4:30 p.m. until Monday, Jan. 5 at 6 a.m.

Pension plan information 

Employees of the College can easily access their pension information from the comfort of their own home. My Account allows you to review all your personal information, calculate and view pension estimates, change your beneficiary options, or send the pension plan a message if you have a question about your account.

You can also view Member’s Benefit Statements dating back to 2000 and use the Purchase Cost Estimator to help determine the cost of buying back a leave of absence.

If you are retiring, a duplicate copy of T4A tax slip is available online through My Account.
My Account registration is easy. You can go to the College plan website or Municipal plan website then click the Register Now link under the Logon button to get started.

December brings the gift of flexibility

Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus will offer free yoga to College employees this week. Classes will take place on Wednesday (4:45 – 5:45 p.m.) and Thursday (1 – 1:50 p.m.)

The classes run in the lecture theatre and extra mats are available. Beginners are very welcome – please dress warmly. Food Bank donations are also welcomed!


Word that Roy Daykin is replacing Bob Eby as Okanagan College’s Vice President Finance and Administration was featured in the Business Examiner’s December issue. The website Finance Industry News carried the release as well.

A photo of two students from St. Joseph Elementary school participating in the 9th annual Western Canada Robocup Junior Games occupied front-page real estate in the Dec. 6 edition of the Okanagan Saturday. Thirty-four teams participated. A brief in the Courier on Dec. 5 alerted readers to the games going on. covered the games on its website as did InfoTEL.

Local author Gail Anderson-Dargatz visited the literacy class at the Salmon Arm campus in November to speak about life as an author. Read about it in the Salmon Arm Observer article Literacy class explores the arts.

Culinary students Dayna Duckworth-Dolan was beaming in the photo carried in the Dec. 3 edition of the Kelowna Capital News that accompanied the OC-generated press release on her winning a $1,500 B.C. Hospitality Foundation Scholarship.

Word that the College will be sending its largest-ever contingent of students to Kingston in January to compete in the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition earned space in the Dec. 10 edition of the Kelowna Capital News. Columnist Max Dehart had made mention of it in her Dec. 3 column. The story was also carried on Castanet.

The Salmon Arm Observer carried a touching story in its Dec. 10 edition about how Okanagan College opened the world of books to a man 30 years after he underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Castanet picked up an Okanagan College release on Dec. 5 about GIS students who are looking forward to the program being offered in Kelowna.

Student Lauren McKay’s scrapbook will be another entry thicker with a clipping from the Dec. 3 edition of the Capital News that told the story of her $10,000 award from the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society to study abroad.

The details of the new Canada Job Grant program were still fresh when the Business Examiner carried a full-page story (Page 11, December issue) on how employers in the region can look to Okanagan College to help them access some of the training funds available. Featured was OC’s Director of Continuing Students and Corporate Development, Dr. Dennis Silvestrone. A similar message was carried in the Dec. 7 issue of the Vernon Morning Star, drawing on a College-generated press release.

Doug Manning, a member of the College’s Board of Governors, was featured in the Dec. 13 business section of the Okanagan Saturday for his development of an application called PopSavvy. Kelowna Capital News columnist Maxine Dehart gave the app some ink on Dec. 10.

Word that Allison Markin, a well-known social media expert and sometimes instructor at Okanagan College, was joining the Daily Courier hit the paper’s physical edition and website on Dec. 7.

The Penticton Herald carried a photo of last year’s class of young writers on page B5 on Dec. 15 to let would-be registrants (and their parents) know that they can register for next year’s camp (July 5-10) for $100 if they do it before Dec. 24.

Stan Chung, a former associate dean at Okanagan College, has been named Vice President Academic at College of the Rockies – a feature on Chung’s appointment was carried in the Kootenay News Advertiser on Dec. 5.

Okanagan College Faculty Association President Tim Walters was among several Okanagan College faculty members who signed a letter from CAUT (Canadian Association of University Teachers) to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto expressing “shock and collective outrage at the brutal assassination and kidnapping of students in Guerrero, Mexico” and calling on officials to take action to locate the missing students. The letter can be viewed online.

The Kelowna Capital News noted on Dec. 10 that Write for Rights, an Amnesty International Program that inspires people to write to governments urging them to respond to human rights concerns, was to be held at the Kelowna Campus that day.

Okanagan College alumnus and new Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran was the focus of a Kelowna Capital News article on Dec. 3, page A16. eVent Magazine carried a photo essay of the swearing-in ceremony on Dec. 4, including a picture of another College alumnus, Ryan Donn, who was elected to Kelowna City Council. Highlights from Basran’s inaugural speech were carried in the Dec. 3 edition (Page A11) of the Daily Courier, in which he mentioned the importance of the city being connected with the College.

Premier Christy Clark, giving a year-end interview to the Kelowna Daily Courier, talked again about opportunity to build the high-tech community in the Okanagan with investment in the Centre for Innovation and referenced the connection to Okanagan College (Page A1, Dec. 16). The same article was carried in the Penticton Herald, Page 4.

Westwood Electric’s $100,000 donation to the Okanagan College campaign earned Castanet’s attention as well as placement on Veeooz.

Business professor David Cram was called on by Global Okanagan to provide some perspective on dropping oil prices, dropping gas prices and the possible effects on the economy for a segment carried on the Dec. 14 news.

A familiar face from the College’s Culinary Arts department, Jeremy Luypen, has been named Okanagan Chefs Association Member of the Year – the news of the award, and a summary of all that Luypen does, was carried on Kelowna Now.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Christine Ulmer.

To ensure your submission is included, please send all details at least one day in advance of the newsletter’s publication.

The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Jan. 13, 2015.